We are proud to bring you this unique and vibrant artwork to help celebrate the wild spaces here at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This true to life piece depicts one of the most beautiful spots in the Refuge and highlights the importance of protecting it. Every one of us can make a difference and choose to protect places like these. 100% of the profit from every sale goes right back to supporting the Refuge directly. Each piece in this collection is made with care right here in the U.S.A., all of the materials are eco-friendly, recycled or repurposed, printed with non-toxic inks, or sustainably sourced.
Please enjoy this writing prompt to help put your imagination to work
White pelicans rest lazily on the exposed sandbar. The only sounds you can hear are the gentle lapping of waves against the mangrove shoreline and the occasional rustle of wings. It’s late afternoon at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The tide is out and the birds are in. You can just make out the outline of a great blue heron wading in the shallow water past the sandbar. It stands tall and silent, watching. Waiting to strike its prey swimming just under the surface of the water. Three brilliant pink roseate spoonbills glide silently overhead to rest alongside the pelicans and other shorebirds on the sandbar. Towering white clouds are building in the distance, signaling a storm may be on its way. You sigh and smile. What a perfect afternoon.
The unmistakable call of a mangrove cuckoo cuts through the silence and you freeze. Your heart begins beating rapidly as you scan the mangrove trees around you for where the sound came from. A mangrove cuckoo is a very rare sighting at the refuge, especially during the winter months, and it sounded close. If only you could find it. The call comes again and your eyes zero in on the spot, straining in the late afternoon sun to see into the shadowy branches. Suddenly there it is. It seems to materialize right before your eyes. The white spots on its long, dark tail and buff-colored belly that had blended right into its surroundings moments ago seems so clear now. Your smile returns, even wider this time. What a perfect day!
By: Carrie Harmon